Haley Anderson won’t get a chance to match her silver medal from last year’s Olympic 10km swim, but on Sunday in the open water 5km race at the 2013 U.S. Open Water National Championships, she ensured herself a trip to Barcelona by winning the women’s 5km race in what was likely the most comfortable victory of the entire weekend.
Anderson, who finished 8th in the 10km race, led most of the way in the 5km race (though a few different swimmers led short bursts.) In the 10km race, she got caught in the middle of the pack several times and had a pretty rough go, and so instead in this shorter race she sat up front, and around 200 meters to go really put her foot on the gas and started pulling away.
She was a tiny bit too aggressive perhaps on the final turn (with about 150 meters to go), which almost allowed Emily Brunemann to pull even, but every time that Brunemann and 15-year old Becca Mann made a charge, Anderson immediately answered. By 50 meters to go, this race was about over.
This played to Anderson’s advantage, as the wind died down significantly when compared to the men’s race, so the lead position wasn’t quite as treacherous, especially when coming to the finish where Anderson really took off.
A great battle for 2nd also separated from the lead pack, but Becca Mann got inside position coming into the chute, and her superior line got her finger on the pad just a hair before Brunemann for 2nd place. 4th went to Christine Jennings, winner of the 10km race.
Top 8 finishers:
1. Haley Anderson
2. Becca Mann (18 & under National Champion)
3. Emily Brunemann
4. Christine Jennings
5. Tristin Baxter
6. Eva Fabian
7. Ashley Twichell
8. Lindsey Clary